A resident Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin and a pelican in the Swan Canning Riverpark. Photo – Sue Harper

Corporate and Business Services

The department’s Corporate and Business Services (CBS) Division provides support in information technology, finance, human resources, communication and more, to the department, including its statutory authorities and the FPC.

During 2021–22, CBS had significant involvement in the department’s response to COVID-19, implementing the Government’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy which achieved employee compliance of over 96 per cent, and coordinating personal protective equipment stock levels, financial and HR reporting and public information and corporate communications.

Concurrently, CBS continued to deliver the department’s essential business functions, ensuring:

  • The health, safety and wellbeing of personnel.
  • Uninterrupted payroll services and functions.
  • Corporate information technology services and systems.
  • The release of hundreds of communication notices related to:
    • bushfire and prescribed burning alerts and emergency warnings
    • media relations, social media and Ministerial communications
    • website and intranet content.
  • State headquarters security, electricity and water.
  • Financial management and business support systems.
  • Accounting functions.

Financial Services Branch

The Financial Services Branch (FSB) manages the department’s accounts receivable and payable, general ledger, corporate card, asset records, budget consolidation and core financial software. Extensive financial reporting is coordinated through the branch and provided to relevant stakeholders where required, including corporate tax and statutory reports and internal reports.

FSB also provides financial advice and training to employees on procurement, contract and fleet management processes and coordinates remote area housing.

Key achievements in 2021–22:

  • Implemented procurement reform requirements as a result of the new Procurement Act 2020.
  • Supported the development and integration of new online payment hubs with Oracle Financials.
  • Utilised the integrity in financial management toolkit to identify and implement improvement opportunities.

People Services Branch

The People Services Branch (PSB) provides a central human resource service to the department. PSB services include recruitment and establishment, payroll and human resource systems and analytics, employee and industrial relations, mandatory corporate training and health, safety and wellbeing management.

Key achievements in 2021–22:

  • Development of a unified Corporate Values Charter ensuring a level of consistency and mutual expectation of a positive, respectful and productive workplace culture.
  • Implementation of the Integrity Strategy for WA Public Authorities 2020–23, resulting in the review of current integrity frameworks and the development of a central Integrity Hub resource.
  • Received Gold Status from Mental Health First Aid Australia for exceeding the recommended target of employees trained in mental health first aid within the workplace.

Public Information and Corporate Affairs Branch

The branch coordinates the delivery of the department’s public safety information during incidents, media relations, communications planning and campaigns, corporate social media, graphic design, audio visual production and environmental education and behaviour change programs. This is combined with digital experiences including websites, WA Naturally branded information products, customer services and management of the Perth Hills Discovery Centre and campground in Beelu National Park.

Key achievements in 2021–22:

  • Developing and executing the department’s spring/autumn prescribed fire public information and education campaigns.
  • Partnering with Curtin University to research and develop new community behaviour change communications focused on visitor safety in parks.
  • Providing communications support to the Minister for Environment’s office for major Government initiatives such as PfOP and the Aboriginal Ranger Program.
  • Project managed more than 700 information products, including publications and signage.
  • Know Your Patch principles were incorporated into the branch’s Nearer to Nature education programs that focus on forest and fire ecology, wetland ecosystems, sustainability, Aboriginal culture and Western Shield. The branch also supported the activities of almost 3000 Bush Ranger cadets in 59 high schools across Western Australia and more than 800 River Ranger cadets in 16 metropolitan primary schools.
  • A five-week pilot course, Introduction to Aboriginal Rangers, was delivered at Banksia Hill Detention Centre in partnership with the Department of Justice, providing participants with an understanding of land management through hands-on projects.
  • Almost 1600 people are now registered as Dolphin Watchers, with training delivered to new volunteers in Broome, Mandurah and Perth. This coincided with the launch of an upgraded Marine Fauna Sightings app to help improve survey tracking data collected by the program’s citizen scientists.

Office of Information Management

The Office of Information Management (OIM) leads and coordinates digital transformation across the department. It improves service delivery and provides the IT common operating environment that supports the department’s geographically distributed and diverse marine, aerial and terrestrial services across Western Australia.

OIM works with business units on the delivery of strategic business-IT investment initiatives to enable digitalisation of business services and optimisation of IT systems.

Key achievements in 2021–22:

  • Strengthening the department’s cyber security capabilities through activities to protect its people, information and technology.
  • Telecommunications investment to ensure all department users experience the same levels of service, irrespective of geographical location.
  • Enabling value-to-business and driving value-for-money through strategic business-IT change investments to progress department and State Government priorities.
  • Modernising information management practices to preserve the department’s corporate memory and enable decision-making through effective information management.

Parks and Wildlife Service managed land and water

Total estate

At 30 June 2022, the total area under the department’s care was 31,609,795 hectares.

The department now relies solely on Landgate’s statistical data and information systems for terrestrial tenure areas. The department has taken this step to ensure the areas reported are consistent with the information systems used by Landgate as the State’s land tenure information custodian.

Table 10: 2021–22 Legislated land and water

Tenure classification Goldfields Kimberley Midwest Pilbara South Coast South West Swan Warren Wheatbelt Total (ha)
National Park 303,505 1,435,548 581,159 2,483,411 856,862 151,835 118,265 561,759 17,793 6,510,138
Conservation Park 183,985 560,334 182,712 291,493 677 13,651 25,087 706 5,382 1,264,027
Nature Reserve 6,064,544 175,149 755,909 259,621 1,585,216 14,183 54,386 87,228 1,097,501 10,093,737
State Forest 782       4,052 527,576 474,034 265,346 9,502 1,281,292
Timber Reserve 28,393   26,277   5,159 26,278 28,727 8,315   123,148
Section 5(1)(g) & 5(1)(h) Reserves 81,605 827,268 76,696 20,976 4,415 31,484 34,934 1,465 2,980 1,081,823
Marine Park   3,070,778 869,492 343,505   123,000 16,248 1,446   4,424,469
Marine Nature Reserve     132,000             132,000
Marine Management Area       143,385           143,385
Section 34A Freehold   0 1,549   91 19,525 50 4,662 1 25,878
UCL - Section 33(2) 28,560   89,832             118,392
Crown Freehold - Dept Managed     1       8,240     8,241
SCRM Act - River Reserve             3,597     3,597
Totals 6,691,374 6,069,077 2,715,626 3,542,391 2,456,471 907,532 763,568 930,927 1,133,159 25,210,126

Table 11: 2021–22 Management interest in lands

Tenure classification Goldfields Kimberley Midwest Pilbara South Coast South West Swan Warren Wheatbelt Total (ha)
Crown Freehold - Dept Interest     13,389   5,667 6,295 13,330 2,072 5,767 46,520
Crown Reserve - Dept Interest             509 136   646
Unallocated Crown Land - Dept Interest 1,920,977 175,491 3,091,205 1,104,633 16,885 5 30 134 43,143 6,352,503
Totals 1,920,977 175,491 3,104,593 1,104,633 22,552 6,300 13,869 2,342 48,910 6,399,669


1. Areas are from Landgate cadastral/tenure information systems dated 31 March 2022.

2. Marine areas are approximate only as quality of mapping of marine reserve boundaries is variable. Improved mapping of watermark and historical boundaries may result in revised area figures in the future.

Table 12: Provisional area of national parks vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission at 30 June 2022

Name Area(ha)
Alexander Morrison 8,499
Avon Valley 4,456
Badgingarra 13,105
Bandilngan 2,084
Beelu 4,617
Blackwood River 20,470
Boorabbin 28,182
Boorara-Gardner 11,017
Boyndaminup 5,439
Brockman 51
Cape Arid 277,462
Cape Le Grand 31,189
Cape Range 69,510
Cape Range (South) 27,083
Collier Range 235,305
D’Entrecasteaux 118,943
Dalgarup 2,377
Danggu 2,750
Dimalurru 91
Dirk Hartog Island 62,664
Dordagup 6,410
Drovers Cave 2,565
Dryandra 16,536
Drysdale River 447,675
Easter 2,975
Eucla 3,815
Fitzgerald River 295,823
Forest Grove 1,379
Francois Peron 53,145
Frank Hann 68,708
Gloucester 874
Goldfields Woodlands 66,159
Goongarrie 60,006
Gooseberry Hill 107
Greater Beedelup 19,277
Greenmount 202
Gull Rock 2,107
Hassell 1,090
Hawke 14,003
Helena 12,261
Helena and Aurora Ranges National Park 149,158
Hilliger 16,979
Houtman Abrolhos Islands 1,564
Jane 6,864
John Forrest 2,698
Kalamunda 397
Kalbarri 183,248
Karijini 624,335
Karlamilyi 1,283,805
Kennedy Range 142,298
Kingston 21,100
Korung 6,354
Lake Muir 9,629
Lakeside 8,471
Lawley River 17,347
Leeuwin-Naturaliste 21,600
Lesmurdie Falls 57
Lesueur 27,232
Midgegooroo 2,492
Millstream Chichester 238,235
Milyeannup 18,690
Mirima 2,065
Mitchell River 115,186
Moore River 17,229
Mount Augustus 9,163
Mount Frankland 37,101
Mount Frankland North 22,052
Mount Frankland South 42,266
Mount Lindesay 39,541
Mount Roe 127,713
Mungada Ridge 1,031
Murujuga* 5,134
Nambung 19,388
Neerabup 965
Niiwalarra Islands 3,352
Peak Charles 39,953
Porongurup 2,686
Preston 12,660
Prince Regent 585,292
Purnululu 243,833
Scott 3,322
Serpentine 4,283
Shannon 52,584
Sir James Mitchell 173
Stirling Range 113,541
Stokes 10,027
Tathra 4,322
Name Area(ha)
Torndirrup 4,020
Tuart Forest 2,080
Unnamed 1,571
Unnamed 81
Unnamed 548
Walpole-Nornalup 18,540
Walyunga 1,813
Wandoo 46,335
Warlibirri 15,873
Warren 3,122
Watheroo 44,464
Waychinicup 3,974
Wellington 24,789
West Cape Howe 3,701
Whicher 6,352
William Bay 1,745
Wiltshire-Butler 11,645
Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater 1,455
Wooditjup 3,891
Yalgorup 14,175
Yanchep 2,859
Yelverton 728

* Freehold land managed as National Park under Section 8A CALM Act


1. Areas are from Landgate cadastral/tenure information systems dated 31 March 2022.

2. Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater is managed as a national park

Marine reserves

The total area of marine reserves vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission at 30 June 2022 was approximately 4.7 million hectares. There were no changes to this area during the financial year.

The area of marine parks at 30 June 2022 was approximately 4.4 million hectares.

The area of marine nature reserves at 30 June 2022 was approximately 132,000 hectares.

The area of marine management areas at 30 June 2022 was approximately 143,000 hectares.

Note: Marine areas are approximate only as quality of mapping of marine reserve boundaries is variable. Improved mapping of watermark and historical boundaries may result in revised area figures in the future.

Table 13: Marine reserves vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission at 30 June 2022

Name Area(ha)
Barrow Island Marine Management Area 116,616
Barrow Island Marine Park 4,169
Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park 200,000
Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve 132,000
Jurien Bay Marine Park 82,376
Lalang-garram / Camden Sound Marine Park 676,000
Lalang-garram / Horizontal Falls Marine Park 342,000
Marmion Marine Park 9,357
Montebello Islands Marine Park 58,375
Muiron Islands Marine Management Area 26,769
Ngari Capes Marine Park 123,000
Ningaloo Marine Park 263,313
North Kimberley Marine Park 1,670,000
North Lalang-garram Marine Park 110,000
Rowley Shoals Marine Park 87,807
Shark Bay Marine Park 748,735
Shoalwater Islands Marine Park 6,545
Swan Estuary Marine Park 346
Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park 1,446
Yawuru Nagulagun / Roebuck Bay Marine Park2 41,000
Total 4,699,854

Conservation land acquisitions

The department’s Parks and Wildlife Service acquired two donated parcels of land of high conservation value covering a combined total area of about 573 hectares for future addition to the State’s conservation reserve system.

Figure 5: Parks and Wildlife Service-managed land and water at 30 June 2022

Map of Parks and Wildlife Service managed land and water

Legal matters

Freedom of information

The Office of the Director General managed processes for the department under the Freedom of Information Act 1992. The department’s Information Statement 2022–23 (available on the department’s website), describes the nature of the information held by the department and its related agencies, and the type of information that is made available to the public.

The department received 22 valid applications for access to information, with five applicants requesting an internal review of the department’s decisions. One applicant has proceeded to external review.


Information regarding litigation in progress is available in the Notes to the Financial Statements – Note 8.2.1 – under Litigation and arbitration in progress.


The department initiated five prosecutions during 2021–22. Two under the BC Act, one under the Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2018 and one under the Conservation and Land Management Regulations 2002.

Finalised prosecutions for 2021–22

Of the above prosecutions, three were subject to final court determination during 2021–22 and resulted in the imposition of fines totaling $3950 and costs of $1706.10.

In addition to the prosecutions commenced during this period, a further three were carried forward and finalised from 2016–17. These matters related to Wildlife Conservation Act offences that resulted in the imposition of fines of $1500 and costs of $169.10. A further related matter was withdrawn and costs of $4061 were awarded against the State.

Prosecutions currently before the courts

As of 30 June 2022, two prosecutions are yet to be concluded and remained before the courts and one matter is with the State Solicitor’s Office for advice.

Total reported offences

A total of 685 offences were reported, of which three were dealt with by way of prosecution, 318 were dealt with by infringement notice, and 364 resulted in caution notices.

Regional and Fire Management Services

The Regional and Fire Management Services Division delivers the department’s frontline services throughout the State, focusing on landscape scale conservation of biodiversity, protection of Aboriginal culture and heritage, threat mitigation, bushfire preparedness and response, visitor planning and visitor risk management, training and welfare of employees and volunteers and timely advice to internal and external partners.


  • Regional employees partnered with traditional owners, neighbours, volunteers, organisations, communities and other stakeholders to implement the department’s responsibilities in national parks, nature reserves, conservation parks, marine reserves, State forest and other land and water throughout the State.
  • The department entered new, and implemented existing, joint management and cooperative management arrangements with traditional owners and worked alongside traditional owners to plan, develop and implement management plans, departmental programs and negotiate new joint management agreements.
  • Collaboration continued with DPIRD on operational planning and integrating service delivery in marine parks.
  • The department entered into an agreement with the Australian Government for the delivery of services in Commonwealth Marine Parks adjacent to Western Australian marine reserves. Activities included mooring maintenance and management in Mermaid Reef Marine Park, marker buoy maintenance in Geographe Marine Park, visitor communication and education services for Ningaloo Marine Park as well as annual joint planning activity.

Carbon farming

  • Under the Western Australian Climate Policy, the department has been leading a number of carbon farming initiatives to optimise the use of department-managed land for carbon storage, where it provides benefits for conservation and traditional owners.
  • The Carbon for Conservation initiative, which seeks to provide opportunities for carbon farming service providers to work with the State Government through the department to maximise the environmental and economic benefits of carbon farming on the conservation estate, was released under the Market-led Proposals Policy Problem and Opportunity Statement process. The State Government is currently evaluating proposals.
  • The department continued to undertake early dry season prescribed burning in Prince Regent National Park (PRNP). The department has a registered Savanna Burning Project in PRNP that generates Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) for the reduction of overall carbon emissions. In 2021 the project generated 29,178 ACCUs by treating 170,775 hectares with early dry season prescribed fire, reducing carbon emissions from late dry season bushfires. Traditional owners were employed to undertake various aspects of the project and the department will seek to continue and expand this engagement.

Management plan implementation and reporting

  • Regional employees managed the land and water vested in the Conservation and Parks Commission and delivered works programs for implementation of management plans and State Government programs and priorities.
  • Marine teams around the State continued to develop detailed annual marine reserve management effectiveness reports for the department’s Executive and the Conservation and Parks Commission. Regional employees provided input and advice into the department’s management effectiveness framework to improve input, output and outcome reporting for marine and terrestrial management plan implementation.

Operational training

The Operational Training Unit had 426 active enrolments in its accredited training courses and qualifications, issued 25 certificates of qualification and 296 statements of attainment to department employees and partnering agencies, and 1403 certificates of attendance for its non-accredited training products. Key achievements in 2021–22 included:

  • Design, testing and implementation of e-learning components into new and existing training programs. The department’s Learning Management System hosts 43 active courses. Combined with new online enrolment functionality, student numbers increased by 59 per cent and expanded to include department volunteers and contractor groups.
  • The design and delivery of a new accredited leadership training program for operational supervisors or personnel who aspire to become field supervisors. Twenty-six Australian Workers’ Union and Ranger Award personnel completed the program.
  • The Mentored Aboriginal Training and Employment scheme expanded to include pathways for becoming a Marine Ranger. This was in response to an increase in the establishment of marine reserves under joint management arrangements with traditional owners.
  • A new, non-accredited Firearms Range Facilitator course was developed and 11 corporate firearms licence holders from around the State underwent training in facilitating safe live fire range sessions and acting as evidence gatherers on behalf of the corporate firearms officer.
  • The department Dive Program’s risk management system, Fieldteq, was outsourced to an external vendor to increase functionality and efficiency.

Marine operations

Large whale entanglements and marine carcass management

  • Whale disentanglement and marine animal carcass management has been a key focus across the State in respect to shark risk and public health. The department provided disentanglement training to employees and developed guidelines for safe carcass removal for use by various tenure managers.
  • There were 23 confirmed entanglement reports. Eleven whales were not resighted after the initial report, preventing disentanglement. The department responded to 12 reports, succeeding in the full disentanglement of five animals, including one vulnerable leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and significantly reducing the amount of rope entangling four other whales. The department is modifying disentanglement strategies to respond to an increasing trend in entangled whales becoming tethered to the sea floor.


  • The department continues to optimise management of its vessels to ensure effective and efficient management of marine reserves through statewide planning and collaborative operations between the department, DPIRD and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
  • Both of the department’s liveaboard vessels stationed primarily in the Kimberley Region, were tasked to operations in the Pilbara, South West and South Coast regions to maximise their productivity during the northern cyclone season.
  • The vessel Manyin was commissioned and replaced the vessel Pandion in the Turquoise Coast District as the primary patrol vessel in the Jurien Bay Marine Park.
  • The department received the PV Edwards from DPIRD to facilitate management actions at the Abrolhos Islands National Park and surrounding waters.

Visitor risk management

The department has a responsibility to consider the personal safety and welfare of visitors to department-managed land and water and aims to manage the potential for misadventure and injuries in a manner that does not unnecessarily diminish visitor use and enjoyment. This is done through a statewide visitor risk management program.

Sadly, 12 visitors died in the extensive areas managed by the department. Five of these deaths were associated with pre-existing medical conditions that contributed to three hiking deaths, one death in a day use area and one drowning. Five deaths occurred as a result of drowning, one death of a hiker occurred in undetermined circumstances and one death was the result of a fall.

During 2021–22:

  • The department continued to work on a range of visitor safety issues including heat stress management, remote camping, walk trail classifications and redevelopments and improvements to recreational sites and facilities.
  • Forty-six employees completed a nationally accredited visitor risk management course.
  • The department continued to support DPIRD with the Beach Emergency Number sign system.
  • The department was involved in one Coronial Inquest that examined the deaths of four hikers in Mount Augustus National Park (one death in 2019 and three in 2020) and is awaiting the findings.
  • Work began between the department and a Western Australian Police Force working group, to examine the use of personal locator beacons in Western Australia.
Page reviewed 18 Oct 2022